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Athletics: Jamaica sticking with June world trials dates

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's 4 x 100m Relay Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/08/2016. Christania Williams (JAM) Elaine Thompson (JAM) Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) of Jamaica celebrate after winning silver REUTERS/David Gray

KINGSTON (Reuters) - The Jamaican Athletics Federation is sticking with its decision to hold their world championships trials during a period typically reserved for Diamond League and other meetings despite concerns from track and field stakeholders.

The general secretary of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said on Thursday that the trials were set to go ahead as planned between June 20-23.

“Suffice to say that the executive has reviewed the (world governing body) IAAF calendar along with our domestic and local events including our local championships and at the moment the dates that have been put to the press and into the media, the public domain, remains the date for the senior and junior championships,” Garth Gayle told Television Jamaica.

Organizers of other events had expressed concerns that staging the Jamaican trials between these dates would result in high-profile athletes from the Caribbean nation missing their one-day meetings.

Athletics’ global governing body, the IAAF, confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that there were “ongoing discussions between the IAAF and JAAA about this scheduling issue.” It did not elaborate.

Jamaica’s 2018 Commonwealth Games 3000m steeplechase gold medalist Aisha Praught-Leer said the trials would have been better in July.

“While I would prefer it to be later, if the date is going to remain as June 20-23, then we’ll all just have to amend our plans and be ready on the day,” Praught-Leer told Reuters in Kingston.

“As an athlete it is really difficult, especially when dates change because often we have our schedules already set, or at least our training already set, so really the most important thing is setting the date and making sure that it is not changing so that we can continue on our training plan.”

As currently scheduled, Jamaica’s trials would be held near or during the dates set for the Rabat Diamond League in Morocco and Adidas Boost Boston Games, both on June 16, the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on June 20 and Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Stanford, California on June 30.

Editing by Toby Davis